The term “pinched nerve” is somewhat of a catch-all phrase that is commonly used to back or neck pain. Often a “pinched nerve” is actually an irritated, or inflamed nerve where the nerve itself is not actually pinched. In most cases, nerves become irritated and inflamed when the bones, joint or muscles of the spine are not in their proper location and are not moving properly. This condition is called a subluxation. A doctor of Chiropractic is the specialist in the treatment of subluxations.
There are instances when nerves do become “pinched”, such as in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Sciatica and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. In each of these cases, injury, spasm or inflammation of the surrounding muscles and connective tissue causes the nerve to become compressed, resulting in pain and dysfunction. These conditions are referred to as “tunnel syndromes.” Treating tunnel syndromes is more complex than treating a simple spinal subluxation but they usually respond very well to chiropractic care; especially when combined with other physical therapies, such as exercises and stretches.
It is very important that the cause of any form of pain be properly diagnosed. If you have been told that you have a “pinched nerve” it is very important that you seek professional care from a doctor of chiropractic as soon as possible.